It’s been quite a journey for Phorale. They used to have a location in a South Park mini-mart serving up beloved Asian/Tex-Mex fusion dishes that closed in January 2018. In March 2019, Phorale opened up a food trailer to sling the goods on the streets. Fast forward to February 2020. Owner Chef Young Cho was getting ready to open up a restaurant in White Center. Then the impacts of COVID-19 and quarantine became very real.
Young signed a lease then found repairs that needed to be made. He hasn’t qualified for government assistance or grants because the restaurant never opened. Recently, Young launched a gofundme to get the money needed to finish the building and open. He’s put everything he owns into the business and wants Phorale Way to be a place for everyone to enjoy. Each donation comes with a token of appreciation ranging from hot sauce to a free daily meal for life.
Like many of you, I’ve been donating to tons of different businesses, organizations, and charitable causes over the last few months. There are three reasons you should donate to the cause.
Reason #1: The Food
It’s incredible. That’s it. My absolute favorite is The Fuego, a sandwich pork marinated with Phorale spicy sauce, picked veggies, and garlic cilantro mayo. My food of choice is not sandwiches unless they’re the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. This sandwich is life changing. If pork isn’t your thing, try The Gringo filled with sliced steak, sautéed onions, habanero bechamel, and Phorale sweet and spicy sauce. Phorale Fries is the perfect sharable with your choice of meat, avocado crema salsa verde, and habanero. This dish led to Phorale winning Best Food Truck at the 2019 Bite of Seattle. Well deserved! And I’m not just saying that because I was a judge last year. Young has skills. In 2016, he was voted by Zagat as one of the 16 Under the Radar Chefs. He was the KOMO 4 Best Chef on the Block in 2018. And finally, he competed to win Master Chef in 2019 at The Bite of Seattle. Think street food is simple? It’s as complex as you want it to be. Packing flavors into something as simple as a sandwich is the mark of a true master.
Reason #2: Support a BIPOC Business
Young got caught in a temporal anomaly. He was transitioning into a restaurant when COVID-19 hit hard in our region. It will take years to recover and we need to push money back into our local economy by supporting businesses that are meaningful and add to the diversity of our food community. BIPOC owners have layers of disadvantages to overcome. If we want more representation, we have to support those who are out there and those to come. Young wants to create a safe space for the neighborhood where everyone is welcome. Currently, an outdoor P-Patch is being built and an outdoor, dog friendly dining area. Part of the gofundme contributions will pay for supplies to local BIPOC artists and crafters to make this dream a reality.
Reason #3: Single Source, Farm-to-Table
All of the proteins served at Phorale Way will be pasture raised products that are GMO and steroid free. The goal is to provide us with the most humane and sustainable product in Young’s dishes. He’ll only be using what is available locally. Animals that are raised in an ecologically friendly way supports long-term sustainability. All parts of the animals are used, resulting in zero waste. As I mentioned above, supporting local ranchers and farmers means we are supporting our local economy which is key as we begin COVID-19 recovery. One of the rewards of donating is a trip to visit the facilities in Grant County where ingredients are sourced from.
Phorale is one of my favorite food trailers and I’m crossing my fingers for a speedy opening of Phorale Way. If you can’t donate money, consider spreading the word by clicking here.